Before lifting there are several safety and proper use techniques that should be practiced. If you are a beginner it is best to purchase a set of dumbbells that has a wide range of weights. You can find a number of adjustable dumbbells cheap here. If your goal is for a toned look then find a set of weights that you can lift for 12 to 20 repetitions for a given exercise before being overly tired. If you are looking to do strength training or muscle building then look for a set that allows for 8 repetitions before getting tired. It is important to move slowly when using dumbbells. Injuries can occur if you speed through your workout or over-adjust your body weight. There are also benefits to using slow movements. Moving slowly allows your muscles to stabilize and support the weight during each phase of the workout, which in turn helps build muscle. There are many resources online that teach proper technique including posture and body mechanics. Following these techniques will improve your workout and prevent injury.
Arm and shoulder workouts
The easiest dumbbell workouts to learn are arm exercises. Bicep curls are done starting with your arms at your sides and then lifting the dumbbell to the height of your shoulder. You would want to complete these in repetitions of 8 to 20. Triceps extensions are performed by holding dumbbells overhead and then slowly lower and raise them. You can do this with one in each arm or by alternating to each arm. To perform a kickback relax an arm and one leg on a chair and while facing the ground lift the dumbbell so your arm is pointed behind you. Shoulder presses can be done while sitting or standing. You will want to hold the dumbbells even with your shoulders and then raise them until your arms are locked before slowly lowering them back. Shoulder raises are done by starting off with the dumbbells at your sides and slowly raising them to shoulder level. Then you would slowly lower them back to the starting position.
Core exercises include your chest, back, and abdominals. To do this lay on a bench press at an incline, decline, or flat grip. While lying on the bench grab both dumbbells and lift them toward the ceiling, then slowly lower them. Fly exercises can also be performed on a bench press. Why lying down hold the dumbbells at shoulder level and then bring them in toward your chest in a hugging motion. Then slowly move them back to the starting position. Exercises to strengthen your back include rows, bends, and dead lifts. The first workout you can do is to start in a squatting position and raise a dumbbell in each arm toward your chest. Bend exercises consist of leaning forward, grabbing the dumbbells off the floor and then slowing standing upright. Once upright slowly lower the dumbbells back to the floor (similar to a toe touch). For ab workouts hold dumbbells while crossing arms across your chest and complete crunches and sit-ups, this will create an added resistance.
There are also leg exercises that can be done with dumbbells. You can perform toe raises; this is done by holding dumbbells in each arm by your sides and then raising yourself to your toe tips. Lunges are also another workout that can be done. To do this place a single foot forward or backward and evenly distribute your body while holding dumbbells in each arm by your side. Finally you can perform leg squats. While holding a dumbbell in each arm lower your body to a 90 degree sitting position and then slowly stand straight upright.